The picture of a 17-year-old Wheatmore High School student and her son was pulled from the yearbook because the school's staff believed it promoted teen pregnancy.
The school invited students to take a picture with something that represented their interests, an invitation without rules or regulations. While some students brought footballs or trophies, Caitlin Tiller chose her son, Leelin, who represented responsibility and love.
The county school board declined to give an explanation, except that the photo should have included an item, not an extension of Tiller’s family. However, family pets were allowed in the photos.
“He has helped me achieve my goal to graduate high school and go forward with my dreams,” she said.
Since the birth of her son last April, Tiller graduated high school early, picked up a part-time job and decided to go to college. She also has the support of her parents and Leelin’s father.
“They should be proud that the students are willing to stay in school, graduate and make something of themselves and not try and hide it,” said Karen Morgan, Tiller’s mother.
Tiller had the choice to submit a second photograph but decided against it, saying that if the school wasn’t proud of her achievements she didn’t want to be included in the yearbook.